Pat Tiberi

Ohio Race Was Worth Millions to Outside Groups in August. Now? Not So Much
Some see opportunities for Democrats in Balderson/O’Connor rematch

Democrat Danny O’Connor says he hasn’t let up the pace of his campaign for Ohio’s 12th District since narrowly losing a special election in August. (Courtesy Danny O’Connor for Congress)

The national attention showered on this summer’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District may have moved elsewhere. And the font of spending from outside groups has all but dried up. But the losing Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor has not stopped running. 

That’s what Paul Beck, a longtime campaign observer, noticed when an O’Connor canvasser came knocking on the door of his Franklin County home: It was the candidate’s dad. 

Something Old, Something New, Someone Appointed, Neither Blue
Republicans Jon Kyl and Troy Balderson sworn in on Wednesday

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Ohio, second from right, before being sworn in on the House floor Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Congress grew by two Republicans on Wednesday when Jon Kyl was sworn on the Senate side and Troy Balderson over in the House. 

Shortly after the Senate convened at noon and voted to confirm Elad Roisman to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Kyl, a former Senate minority whip who retired in 2013 but was appointed on Tuesday to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Republican Troy Balderson Wins Ohio Special Election
Balderson and O’Connor will face off again in November

Republican Troy Balderson celebrates after giving his victory speech at his election night party on Aug. 7. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Republican Troy Balderson won the special election in Ohio’s 12th District, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Balderson, a two-term state senator, defeated Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder.

O’Connor Hoping Provisional Ballots Trigger Recount
Campaign says 3,000 provisional ballots could bring deadlocked race within margin for automatic recount

Danny O’Connor’s campaign said provisional ballots in Ohio tend to skew toward Democrats. (Danny O’Connor for Congress via Facebook)

A week after Election Day, Democrat Danny O’Connor’s campaign in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District is optimistic there will be a recount.

Speaking on a media call, O’Connor’s campaign team said it’s hopeful that provisional ballots yet to be counted will bring the race within the 0.5 percentage point margin that would trigger an automatic recount.

Parsing Ohio’s 12th: Neither Party Should Rush to Conclusions Just Yet
A lot more can still happen three months out from November

If Republican Troy Balderson holds on in Ohio’s 12th District, it would look more like a sequel to the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, perhaps with a happier ending but hardly the stuff of a “red wave,” Winston writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In 1982, as a young opposition researcher at the National Republican Congressional Committee, one of “my candidates” was an equally young John Kasich running in Ohio’s 12th District.

He was the only GOP challenger to win in that first off-year election of the Reagan presidency, and Republicans have held the seat ever since. With my background in the district, I had more than a passing interest in the outcome of Tuesday’s special election there.

3 Takeaways from the Ohio Special Election for the Midterms
Anti-Trump energy remains high, and Republicans aren’t giving up on Pelosi attacks

Republican Troy Balderson, above, is leading Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election for Ohio’s 12th District. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

The special election in Ohio’s 12th District remained too close to call Wednesday, with Republican Troy Balderson narrowly leading Democrat Danny O’Connor.

But the competitiveness of the race in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s contest and the tighter-than-expected margin offered several takeaways for the next three months.

Republican Balderson Leads in Too-Close-To-Call Ohio Special Election
One GOP super PAC spent more than $3.3 million to hold longtime GOP seat

Ohio state Rep. Troy Balderson, seen here at the Licking County Hartford Fair on Monday, is leading in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Republican Troy Balderson was narrowly ahead in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District on Tuesday night, but even with all precincts reporting, the race remained too close to call. 

Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor 50 percent to 49 percent, according to The Associated Press, which hadn’t called the race as of 11:50 p.m.

Trump Tries to Save Reliable GOP House Seat in Ohio
Republican Troy Balderson is in tight race against Democrat Danny O’Connor

President Donald Trump, here in South Carolina in June, was in Ohio Saturday to stump for GOP House candidate Troy Balderson in his tight race. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 20:29 p.m. | President Donald Trump dove headfirst into a House special election Saturday evening, aiming to give Ohio Republican Troy Balderson a final push three days before Election Day.

The race in the suddenly competitive 12th District between the state lawmaker and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, polls say, is now essentially tied. Trump and Republican leaders are eager to keep the seat in GOP hands after the retirement of former Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi earlier this year.

At the Races: O-H-I-O
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Jim Jordan Scandal Comes to Ohio 12th Race
Democratic Super PAC asks if Balderson supports Jordan for Speaker

Democratic super PAC American Bridge is criticizing Troy Balderson, the Republican nominee in the special election for Ohio’s 12th District, for not saying whether he would support Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for Speaker of the House (American Bridge/YouTube).

A Democratic super PAC wants to make the special election in Ohio’s 12th District also about accusations against Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.

American Bridge released a five-figure ad buy criticizing Republican candidate Troy Balderson for not saying whether he would support Jordan for Speaker of the House.